How good is the phono card in BAT pre-amps?

Anyone compared the phono card, the VK P3, to an outboard phono stage?

I am running a Cube SE right now with my VK 3ix pre-amp. I am considering selling the Cube and buying the P3 plus some really good NOS tubes in the pre-amp instead of an outboard phono stage.

What got me going on all this was a friends extensively modified 834p with some rare tubes I had in my system. That thing really made the system sing like never before. The image seperation, front to back layering, clarity and soundstaging were simply spectacular. It made the Cube sound closed in, congested and dense (as is not being able to seperate all the information as individual sonic events). Now that its out I find that I miss its performance and want to get it back, but on a more reasonable price point.

Other options are obviously an 834p to begin the upgrade/mod path on, a used BAT P5 or....?
Can't say vs the cube but I like it better than my Lancelot Chamelot phono. The air is better with the Chamelot but the coherency with, bass slam and a lot of other areas are better with the phono card. It's not the end in pre-amps but it's not bas.

Thanks for the reply. I just wanted to throw the question out there and see how it compares. Something tells me I'll end up with an EAR 834p and try to get it upgraded.
I had the VK30 with phono card it was not too bad for a SS phono stage and a good option if space is a concern. Later when I moved to a BAT 5i preamp I picked up a VK 5P which is a very nice sounding unit and used it for a number of years with good results. For another system I picked up an EAR 834P and comparing the two I prefer the EAR 834P. The BAT seemed a bit dark sounding in comparison. The EAR is a much better option than the BAT with phono card. Get the EAR you will not be disappointed.
Gjrad, were you using low output MC cartridges with the P5 and the 834p?
I had the 3i with the phono card several years ago. It was only just good enough. Not anything you would want to use in a highly resolving system.

With the 5P I used a Dynavector 20XH High Output MC (2.8mv)and and before that a Benz Mico High Output MC(2.2mv). When I sold the 5P I moved to a Joule Electra OPS1 still matched with the Dynavector. With the 834P I am using a Benz Glider Medium Output MC (0.8mv), the 834 has so much gain that it works perfectly with the glider in the low gain mode. Switching to high gain is way too much for that catridge.